Twentieth-Century Europe

The Origins of World War I, 1914-1918



I. Introduction: The Background to the July Crisis of 1914.

    A. Long-range Causes: The Instability of the European State System.

        1. The Unification of Germany and Italy.

        2. The Loss of Flexibility in the European State-System.

        3. Colonial Aspirations and Conflicts.

        4. Nationalism.

        5. The Belief in a Philosophy of Struggle.

        6. The European-wide Arms Race.

        7. Domestic Conflicts.

        8. The Alliance System: The Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente.

II. Short-term Causes, 1905-1914.

    A. Crises in the Balkans, 1908-1914.

    B. The Moroccan Crises of 1905 and 1911.

    C. The Balkan Wars, 1912-1913.

III. The Convergence of Long-range and Short term Causes.

    A. The Assassination in Sarajevo (28 June 1914).

    B. The Blank Check (5-6 July 1914) and the Austrian Ultimatum

    C. The Outbreak of War, 28 June-4 August 1914.

IV. Conclusion: The Question of Responsibility or War Guilt.


Twentieth-Century Europe

World War I, 1914-1918

I. Introduction: War Plans and Resources.

II. World War I: The War of Illusions - 1914.

    A. Failure of the War Plans and the Development of a Stalemate in the West.

    B. War of Movement in the East: Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes.

    C. Additional Fronts Open.

III. World War I: The Stalemated War - 1915.

    A. The Western Front.

    B. The Eastern Front.

IV. World War I: The Great Slaughter - 1916.

    A. The Western Front: The Battles of Verdun and the Somme.

V. World War I: Revolution and Peace - 1917-1918.

    A. The Western Front: A Lull in the Fighting.

    B. The Russian Revolution - March 1917.

    C. The U.S. Enters the War - April 1917.

    D. The November Revolution: Russia Leaves the War.

    E. The Failure of the German Spring Offensive of 1918.

    F. 11 November 1918.

VI. World War I: Additional Fronts.

    A. The Balkans.

    B. The Italian Front, 1915-1918.

    C. The Middle East.

    D. The War at Sea.

    E. World War I as a Global War.

VIII. World War I: The Impact of Total War.

    A. Mobilization for War: The Growth of Government.

    B. The Social Impact of the War.

    C. The Economic Impact of the War.

    D. The Intellectual and Artistic Impact of the War.

E. The Introduction of New Weapons.

F. Casualties and War Memorials.

X. Conclusion: Europe in 1919.



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